Indiana vs. Purdue
This is a basketball-mad state that was the inspiration for the movie “Hoosiers” and where John Wooden displayed his wizardry on the courts in high school and college (at Purdue) long before he became a legend at UCLA.
And for nearly 20 years, the duels featured two of the feistiest and most intense coaches in the business — Bobby Knight and Gene Keady — in the tradition-rich Big Ten conference.
The series began in 1901 and Purdue holds a 106-80 overall edge. The two have combined for 40 Big Ten titles (Purdue 21 and Indiana 20, 1-2 in conference history).
So how can it be on the decline? They’re not as good as they used to be.
Even worse, Keady is retiring as Purdue’s coach after the season, meaning neither tie to the glory days of Keady-Knight is left.
But that doesn’t mean the games still aren’t great — this year's first game being a great example. The Hoosiers won, 75-73 in double overtime, but only after a questionable basket allowed at the end of the first overtime sent the game into the second extra period.
This one hasn’t been the same since John Thompson retired in 1999. Plus, Hoya fans never embraced the rivalry the way Orange fans did.
Joe Raymond / AP
Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim have owned the once great Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry in recent years.
Once the Carrier Dome opened, Georgetown-Syracuse would crack the 30,000 attendance barrier several times — and provide great theater, too. On Jan. 29, 1985, 32,229 fans watched Pearl Washington’s 15-footer from the foul line beat the Hoyas, 65-63. On Feb. 2, 1987, 32,602 saw Georgetown win, 72-71. On March 5, 1990, a record crowd of 33,015 enjoyed an 89-87 overtime victory over No. 7 Georgetown in a game that featured a 10-point play as three different officials called technical fouls on Thompson.
Indeed, their rivalry was an integral part to the Big East. When Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese had to realign the 14-team conference a couple of years ago and create two divisions, the first thing he did was put the Orangemen and Hoyas in the same division.
“I was committed to putting Syracuse and Georgetown together,” Tranghese said. “That’s been the defining rivalry of the league.”
The alignment, which is now a 14-team giant conference that will grow to 16 next season, hasn’t held up, though, reducing them to one game a season.
Syracuse, which gave coach Jim Boeheim his first national title in 2003, has maintained its status as a national powerhouse. Now that Thompson’s son, John III, has taken over at Georgetown, the rivalry might heat up again.
This year’s meeting: Syracuse beat Georgetown, 78-73, in overtime.
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